It takes more than a stifling summer night to deter the enthusiasm from a
magnificent event in old New Orleans. With a beautiful full moon shining over
the patio filled with the joyous sounds of happy people, the social season's foremost affair unfolded to the many who came to petit palais d'Ambush. Magnolia Cotillion XXIII, benefiting the NO/AIDS Walk, brought together the most influential of the social elite, not only from New Orleans, but also Baton Rouge and other cities in the state as well as across the South. Madame de Pompadour - Toni Pizanie and "les bebes"-Bear, Jayleen and Mademoiselle Prissy-were on hand to introduce guests to "Gai Paris: Champs Elysees du Montmartre" or the 23rd anniversary of New Orleans' first registered domestic partners, Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain. It all took place at their lovely and enchanted home and Ambush office located at 828 Bourbon Street in the Crescent City's historic French Quarter.
Guests were enthralled with the purple-draped balcony and the huge gold crown, but every part of the home was decorated for this special occasion. From the entrance way to the Belle Lain patio, Magnolia Bar and garden area, the fashionably attired ladies and gentlemen came to savor the camaraderie of this delightful night.
Marsha Naquin-Delain was extremely beautiful as usual. As her evening wear, she chose a leopard print caftan with gold slippers camouflaging her recently broken leg. Her accessories were dangling owl earrings accented with a large matching owl pen and lovely gold necklaces. Her petit hands revealed fingers covered with exquisite diamonds, emeralds and jade from her collection of rare jewelry, and her serene smile welcomed all to this fabulous event.
She was joined by her life-partner, Rip Naquin-Delain, who chose pale beige slacks with black shoes, belt, and black shirt. Over his heart was a stunning fleur-de-lis pin, a lily-like emblem and the coat of arms of the kings of France.
This years decorations were created by Smurf Murphy and his Strictly By Design company. The theme encompassed the palaces to the red light district in Paris and Versailles. The entrance hall was draped in purple accented by mock gold and crystal chandeliers representing a campy version of the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. Instead of mirrors, he chose photo spreads taken directly out of the Paris issues of Ambush.
The loveliest of cakes [created by Master Pastry Chef Doyle DeForest] was on display in the lower level. It was adorned with magnolias and topped with a small replica of the Eiffel Tower in chocolate, a symbol of their favorite city outside of their beloved New Orleans. A large flower arrangement complete with gold miniature fountain was in the hallway leading to the patio and upper quarters. The patio itself was covered with hundreds of tiny blue lights, with the patio set up as a Paris sidewalk cafe.
In the living area on the second level, the host and hostess had their huge dining table decorated with a fantastic flower spray by Tommy's Flowers that draped out over the gourmet delights presented to their guests. In the Queens Bedchamber, Smurf chose to encircle the large golden angel directly over the bed with white ostrich plumes.
Later on in the evening, the balcony became crowded, and a welcomed breeze moved the plants ever so gently. The melodic notes of the grand piano played by Kara Ervin added a rare touch of elegance to the scene, a peaceful and serene locale, a tiny mecca of elegance in a crowded city.
As the evening came to a close and guests left to return home, the bright lights and sounds of the petit palais d'Ambush gave way to the noise and the sights of the historic French Quarter. The people had come and gone. The iron gate closed. The Naquin-Delain gala was over for another year.
Some of 386 guests who attended included: Susan Mintz, Melanie Mintz Zurik, Lisa Ducre of Miller Brands, Tommy Elias of Oz, Larry Bagneris, Larry Graham & Aaron Hanz of Studio One', John & Michael Rhymes, Kurt Tande of French Quarter Accommodations, Tammy Whynot, Regina Ann, Mickey Gil & George Patterson, Mr. Pookie Joe & Miss Pookie Tommy of Pookie's Palace, Harold Morris & Mother Bob of Mother Bob's, Clifford & Catfish of TT's, Bob Moore & Goddess of MRB, Craig Scott, Amy Johnson & Bud Tower, Starkey Kean & Earl Joyner of Postmark New Orleans, Smurf Murphy & August Smith, Don Patton & Tom Kilman of the Blue Parrot/Baton Rouge, Christopher T. Babb, Michael Chase Creary, Pearl Lawson, Jack Gentry, Susan Giroir of Pier 11/Slidell & Kara Ervin, James & Tiffany Rae Button, J.R. Stansberry of Angles/Metairie, Damon Veach of Hibiscus/Baton Rouge, Danae Daniels, Anne Allen, Bobbie Ramone & John Parry, Michelle Alexandria, Dione Larico, Felicia Renee Cole, Ralph Swody & Queen of Rampart Street Simone Richards, Paloma of Lucky Cheng's, Pussy Galore, Rev. Peggy Miller & Rebecca Lorusso, Jan Harrell, Janet Guidry, George Rossignol, Christopher Daigle, Jay Tyburski & Jay Bourgoyne of Bourgoyne Guest House, Butch Brown of Bon Maison, Donnie Walker & Sonny Cleveland, Randy Stephens & James Comeaux of Cathedral, Ms. Fly of the Corner Pocket, Carolyn Villars & Barbara Satterley, Marquita Irland, Martha Dunne, Thom Crandal/Port St. Joe/FL, Michael Sullivan, Jerry Scavo & Kenny Walker, Stephen Graffeo & James Wiegand, Paul Bordelon & Tony Quintiliano, Kevin Limburg & Chuc LaVenture of Alternatives, Petunias' Hoyle, Drew, Jay and Ron.